Hey guys, welcome to my blog! Seeing as this is my first post, I thought it would only make sense to introduce myself, so you can get to know me a bit better.
My full name is Elena Cristina Redmond, and yes, I’m not 100% British. My mother is Spanish, so both my names I spelt in the Spanish way. Both my parents pronounce my name differently – my mum pronounces it as it is written (“eh-leh-na”) and my dad says it with an English twist (“eh-lai-nah”). I don’t mind how people pronounce it, though Starbucks hardly ever spells it right!
I was born in Sidcup, UK in 1995, and I lived in the UK until I was 8 years old. My parents’ marriage broke inn 2003, and my mum moved back to Spain to be closer to her family, and took me and my siblings with her.
We lived in a northern town called Pamplona, home to the world-famous festival San Fermines, where we run with bulls. Yes, we are mad, and no, I’ve never run it myself!
My experience in school in Spain wasn’t really easy. I was quickly labelled “guiri”, a Spanish slang term for foreigner, and that followed me through my 8 years in Spain. Being a shy child, I found it very hard to make friends and talk to people, and I felt ostracised and lonely more often than not. I was teased on my looks, namely my crooked teeth, slightly prominent nose, short stature, and really thin/bony figure. The teasing got so bad that I was recommended by my therapist to not attend school for a few months.
My surname also drew in unwanted attention, it stood out against all the Spanish names on any list. For years I was told, not just by classmate, but by family members too, that changing my name to something more “local” would be the only way to fully become Spanish, and renouncing my English heritage would help me in school. I refused though. Why renounce such as big part of me to please people I didn’t even want to be friends with?!
Whilst I was 15, I started looking into returning to my home country, England. I got to talking with my dad, who quickly found me a place in Dartford Grammar School. In summer of 2011 I moved back here, and the rest is history!
I feel at home in England, particularly London, and I wouldn’t move back to Pamplona! In the past few years I have worked very hard on myself, to improve my mind and body and to love myself again. I can finally say that I love myself for who I am, and I no longer depend on others to be happy with myself. It has been a hard road, but in the long term so worth it.
So what will my blog be about? I started this blog as a self-development mechanism, but also as a creative outlet to express my views in beauty, health, business, travel, feminism, Game of Thrones, maybe a tad bit of politics, and everything in between. My goal is to be able to entertain at least one person, and if I can inspire anyone to change their life for the better (including getting you hooked on Game of Thrones), then I will consider it an achievement!
So that’s all for today! If there’s one thing I can leave with you today, it’s to cherish yourself and your name. Your name needn’t be your whole identity, but it’s a part of you, as much as your face and body is. To love yourself is to accept and love everything about you. You are unique, created to be yourself and guess what? No one can be a better you, than you.
You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
See you soon 🙂